Prospero’s Books reveals an exceptional blend of the talents of Nancy Mee and Dennis Evans, and is based on an idea in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” as well as Peter Greenaway’s film “Prospero’s Books.”
Mee and Evans, husband and wife, have married their unique vernaculars in speculating what books Prospero might have had with him during his exile.
This important exhibition showcases a compelling collection of Evans’ ethereal encaustic and mixed media works and Mee’s elegant etched and slumped glass sculptures. Evans and Mee have long developed their own personal styles and have established themselves in their respective mediums; this exhibition marks the first collaboration of their lengthy and impressive careers.
Magician Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, has been stranded for twelve years on an island after Prospero’s jealous brother Antonio deposed him and set him adrift with his then-3-year-old daughter Miranda. Gonzalo, the King’s counsellor, had secretly supplied their boat with plenty of food, water, clothes and the most-prized books from Prospero’s library.
These books enabled Prospero to find his way across oceans, to combat malignant spirits, to colonize an island, to educate and entertain Miranda and to summon Tempests.
“Knowing I loved my Books, he furnished me From mine own Library with volumes that I prized above my Dukedom.”
And so, in Prospero’s/Shakespeare’s voice:
“Now I want Spirits to enforce, and Art to enchant.”